Category Archives: Test Prep Tutoring

Knowing What to Study for the ACT is Half the Battle

A qualified test prep tutoring service can help you study for the ACT. A high ACT score is needed to get into the best colleges.

A qualified test prep tutoring service can help you study for the ACT. A high ACT score is needed to get into the best colleges.

To know how to study for the ACT, we must first look at what the ACT is made up of. Tear it apart, and tackle each component one by one. The ACT is made up of 5 sections. Here is a closer look at each of the components and what it entails:

English

This section comprises of 75 questions and you will have a total of 45 minutes to complete it. There will be 5 text passages and 15 questions will be tested for each passage. This works out to about 30 seconds for each question, so you will have to be quick about it. There are two sub categories on the ACT English test – standard English and rhetorical skills. The mean score for this section is roughly 21. To get a shot at higher ranking universities, the score to aim for is between 30 and 34.

Mathematics

The math section is made up of 60 questions and you have 60 minutes to complete it. It tests you on grades 9 to 11 math. You may use an approved calculator for this section, so make sure that your calculator is approved and in good working condition. Since the bulk of the questions will be about algebra and geometry, it is useful to brush up on these skills before the test. Similar to the ACT English test, the average score is 21, but in order to be considered for the top ranking universities, you will need to score between 30 and 34.

Reading

This section may sound like an easy section but you should not take it lightly. There are 40 questions in this section, with just 35 minutes to complete. There will be 4 passages for you to read and 10 multiple choice questions after each passage. All passages are in the form of a prose, so there will be no need for you to interpret any poetry. There are 4 main categories for the passages – social studies, natural sciences, prose fiction and humanities. Much like the previous two ACT sections, the average score is 20, but in order to into top ranking universities, you will need to score much higher than average.

Science

There are 40 multiple choice questions in this section. You have 35 minutes to complete this part of the test. The 4 main categories tested are biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences. This ACT test is mostly about scientific reasoning, so there will be no need to remember all the content details. There will be 7 passages, and you will have to use the data presented to address 5 questions, do a research summary with 6 questions, and use 1 conflicting viewpoints passage to complete 7 questions.

Writing

This is the only non-multiple choice section of the ACT test. It is also an optional test that will earn you 2 additional scores. This section is a bonus for those who attempt it and do well; however, it does not affect your composite score. The purpose of this test is to see if the writer is able to stay focused on a particular topic as well as support arguments with facts and examples.

Our test prep tutoring service can help you prepare for the ACT. Contact us today to meet with a qualified tutor in your area.

Preparing for the GRE

Preparing for the GRE does not have to be a nightmare. Expert tutors can help you organize your time and prioritize exam content.

Preparing for the GRE does not have to be a nightmare. Expert tutors can help you organize your time and prioritize exam content.

The GRE is a test for a candidate’s readiness for undertaking graduate, and business studies programs. It is quite popular and is used in many countries that conduct their courses in English. The GRE also is a popular test internationally for another reason. The U.S. is a very attractive destination for higher education so a lot of students internationally take this test. A companion test, TOEFL or the test of English as a foreign language is almost always taken by these students seeking admissions into graduate programs in the U.S. Although you can take the SAT or ACT for undergraduate college admissions, the GRE is the only test for admissions into graduate school. Like the SAT, the GRE too has specific tests in a few subjects; it is the general test that is used by college admission teams. However, the importance attached to it does vary from school to school.

The latest revision of the general test was developed in August 2011. With the current version, generally now known as the “revised general test”, you have the option to skip questions. If you feel the need and have the time, you can change answers. It is also possible to answer questions you want to answer first. That flexibility can help reduce some of the stress of taking the test.

Getting Organized

The official GRE test site provides several tools for test preparation, including a mobile app. The mobile app will help you continue to prepare on the go, if that becomes necessary. For the GRE, you are scored on the following criteria:

  1. Verbal reasoning
  2. Quantitative reasoning
  3. Analytical writing

The GRE site offers advice about the general test, its scoring methods, and how best to answer questions. There is one important consideration if you want to score higher. In each of the three sections, if you do well in the first part, you will be presented with a tougher set of questions in the second part. That may seem unfair at first glance. But this provides you an opportunity to score higher. If you do poorly on the first part, the second part will be easier but the ceiling of your score will be lowered. Thus, your preparation strategy should be to answer the first part of each section well. Otherwise, by the time you complete the first part, you already have a much lower score than you want.

From this standpoint alone, your preparedness needs to be very thorough. A lot of help is available and where you are located is not a constraint on the availability. You can test prep help whenever you need it. Check out our private test prep tutoring service here.